Friday, 25 May 2012

Shanghai to London- Part 2

Shanghai to Wuxi-
A 'Shinkensen' style train races past on another high-speed line
Having battled through the ques to purchase tickets it was time to head to Shanghai Railway Station. This station, fairly close to the city centre deals with both classic services and high speed trains on the route to Nanjing (Other high speed services depart from the out of town Honquiaio Station). At the larger Chinese stations one is no allowed onto the platforms until shortly before the train leaves- so 10 minutes before our departure I file down the escalator to meet my first Chinese high speed train. This amusingly turned out to be a rather more familiar sight than what one might have expected- a version of Siemens ‘Velaro’ train- to all intents and purposes a new generation German ICE.

Our 'Velaro' train leaves Wuxi to reach Nanjing

The scale of China’s high speed network is nothing short of breathtaking. As the train accelerates to over 300kph we pass an impressive array of diverging lines including a large high speed flying junction. Almost the entire route is elevated on top of concrete piers, which results in an excellent view from the windows. Arrival into Wuxi station continues to show the scale of the construction as a huge steel and glass trainshed spans the platforms. Like the whole line this new station opened around 2 years ago. Next door is the ‘old’ new station- built for the classic service some 10 years earlier. 

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